Excerpt from “Before You Blame The Students” …By Olayinka Ajila

a…From examination materials

Take answers booklet as a case study. Many times candidates are provided with inferior quality booklets that can be blown away by the slightest breeze. Again,when a candidate calls for an extra sheet in the exam hall or when he needs to fasten them, all that is available in this scientific century is a twine or broomstick. Then in the process of transfer, probably from the different agents who must handle them, different pages of the booklets fall out. And guess what, who cares?

b…From examination centers

On the issue of centers I believe you will agree with me that many of them should not be called one. The poor conditions of some of these centers do not qualify them for learning or studies and definitely not for examination. Some are so bad that thirty minutes is just too much for you to become extremely uncomfortable. Even many of the ones we label as standard I must tell you are located within zones of distraction. Some are besides markets, motor parks, and public event centers. In fairness to our children how many of them can be at their best at such examination centers?

c…From Invigilators

On the part of invigilators are indiscipline, autocracy, and lack of commitment. A paper is set for 2pm that would last 3 hours but the invigilator shows up by 3pm and before he stabilizes, it is already 3:30pm. He kicks off with the word “start” yet, he wants to have answer sheets back by 5pm.Now,when he says stop, how many students dare say no?

d…From Marking.

Marking errors are another set of factors failing students And before we get it right we must answer the questions: Who is a marker? When, where and how should marking be done? These are funny but important questions that may just set things in the proper direction.It is no insult that among the so called markers are heavy drunkards! Pardon my unusual word but it is a dead fact.Two things happen under drunkenness Over-scoring and underscoring. Although the lucky students may have the former but I must tell you that the latter is on a much higher scale. This scenario lies under the question above: when should marking be done?

Every subject has a marking scheme and only markers who are majors in the subject can do well with or without the scheme. At times, a student may not certify the marking scheme but certifies the knowledge of the subject. That itself is a mark when there is no mark and only the ‘major’ can understand. I’m saying this to caution markers who give out scripts to their spouses, friends, and children to ease their workload. They introduce them to the marking scheme and unethically have them do a shoddy job. To me, I believe there is more to marking than the quackery of a marking scheme, and this is my submission on how marking should be done.

Carelessness in handling of scripts is a major factor making me ask where marking should be done. Markers move around with students script ‘everywhere’! It is there in their after-school shops, their handbags and even their cars where it is susceptible to unnecessary damage or loss. If the worst then happen, what happens to the students involved? If they must be considered in anyway, will they ever be scored a beautiful A? Is it not possible for a student to do well enough to deserve one? Therefore, considering how and where marking should be done, I think its time we begin to see to the establishment of marking centers.


9 Reasons Why Students Fail JAMB In Nigeria


JAMB Registrar,Prof. Dibu Ojerinde-

It is not an unknown fact that some Nigerian students after their JAMB examination will end up scoring zero over 400.

Two years ago (2012) when I wrote my first JAMB examination, I had this feeling that I was going to smash the exam with a high grade like at least 350 over 400 but finally I found myself scoring 192 over 400.

So, from experience I will say nine of the reasons why we fail JAMB in this country are:

1: Fear: According to H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Honestly I was afraid then, the fear of JAMB made me think I was going into a do or die affair. I could also remember that the very day of the examination it took me about 10 minutes before I could even start shading some answers all because of fear of what the outcome of the exam might be. So I believe fear contributed to my failure. So my fellow students be bold, courageous and never think of failure in your JAMB examination. JAMB is just like any normal examination, even if very tricky.

2. JAMB syllabus: It might sound funny but believe me, JAMB follows some syllabus topics in setting their examination questions. My advice here is that you should adhere to JAMB syllabus because that is where their questions are coming from.
3. Power of JAMB past questions: My dear colleagues never neglect the power of past question papers. They reveal some tips and sample questions on what you will be facing in your examination. After the examination that day, some of my friends that wrote theirs about four years ago, told me that about 20 questions each came out from JAMB past questions. I was shocked but no second chance for an amendment.

4. Miracle Centre believe it or not: This is an open confession, the fear of failing made me to get some A,B,C,D and E from a lady sitting beside me that very day. She registered in a miracle centre. I am very sure my score would have been better than 192 if I had not copied from that girl. After the examination, she showed me the answer her boyfriend sent to her but to my greatest surprise the English language paper type is A but mine is B. Unfortunately to me I carried my Use of English over, so BE CAREFUL.

5. Invigilators of nowadays: Invigilators in some centres usually frustrate students to pay or there will be no communication inside the examination hall. For instance I can remember that day, an invigilator was said to have asked to be paid N2,500 by each candidate to allow them share and communicate with each other but if you fail to pay automatically you will become No 1 Suspect in the hall. They will try anything possible to make you fail unless God saves you.

6. Late Coming: Yes, I will advice you all to be at your centre one hour before the examination starts. Try as much as you can to be the first student at your centre. Coming late to any examination will make you feel that you have lost it all; not only lost but you will be dis-organised.

7. Breakfast: Yes, we know that a hungry man is an angry man. Before leaving in the morning please take something; at least one cup of coffee or tea with bread will be nice to hold you. Sometimes, your exam will even start later than planned.

8. Long Distance: The possibility of a student living in Nasarawa State (Doma) to meet up with an examination that will start around 9.00am in the FCT, Abuja, is just 40/100 because anything can happen. Some students will tell you that they will meet up but along the line, they will be held up along the way. The question is: What if the car breaks down on the way? (I don’t pray for such). What if you don’t locate your centre before the exam starts? The only possible solution for this is just to be in the state/local/town/village where your centre is located a day before the examination date.

9. JAMB paper type: Many students choose to change their JAMB paper during the examination. This is against the law so beware. But let’s assume your JAMB Use of English paper type is TYPE A while the EXPO you have is B do not copy it because they are of different type. Some students will quickly get EXPO from their colleagues without checking the paper type and they will copy it.


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Originally Titled: My Little Advice To JAMBites by Weselion

Another jamb has come and gone, I pray every candidate surpasses the cutoff mark and also pass post utme to gain entrance into your chosen tertiary institution. Everyone said amen to that prayer but we all know it’s not possible, especially in a country like Nigeria. This days, it takes the grace of God for students to gain admission into higher institutions, that’s why you see students or parents giving testimony in church after successfully gaining admission.

Out of personal experience, there are three ways to gain admission in Nigeria; it’s either you are a very brilliant student, you have money to hustle your way through or you know someone who can vouch for you. An average student without the cash and connection may end up staying years at home before gaining admission.

To all those who would gain admission this year, I congratulate you in advance but if you are not so lucky, my dear friend, I have some words to share with you.

First of all don’t think your friends who got admission are better than you, the truth is; the number of universities and polytechnics in Nigeria cannot admit the ever increasing massive number of students writing jamb each year, some students would be admitted while those who were not admitted would join the new applicants who would be writing newly. Year by year the number keeps increasing.

Instead of staying at home for an extra one year, why not apply for a part-time program in any of the universities or polytechnics that supports it. I’m currently running a part-time program at Yabatech, the good thing about it is; there is no difference between a part-timers certificate from a full-timerscertificate (the case may be different in other schools), besides, the school fee is cheap in my school, I’m not sure there is any course that cost up to N80,000 per session.

As a part-time student, you have time to acquire professional certificates related to your intended course of study, you would also have time to work if your parents can’t afford your school fees. I’m a computer science student, I have plans to acquire four different computer related professional certificates at NIIT and other computer institutes before finishing my HND, this would not only add to my C.V, it would also make me moreemployable. Mind you, it doesn’t affect my studies at all.

As a part-timer, if I graduate with a second class upper plus my four professional certificates, I submit my C.V to a company, meanwhile a first class upper full-timer who didn’t have time to get any professional course also submits to the same company, who do you think the company would take?

Don’t let anyone tell you that part-time is not good, it’s too expensive, bla bla bla. Polytechnics have been on strike since last year but it didn’t affect the part-timers, I just finished my ND1 first semester exam meanwhile ND1 full time hasn’t resumed yet.

If you keep staying at home and re-writing, how are you sure of the next jamb? When i wrote my first jamb, I scored 192, I didn’t go for post utme because it wasn’t up to 200 and I didn’t want to attend a polytechnic. My second jamb, I scored 243, in my post utme at FUTO, I scored 264, meanwhile the original cutoff mark for my intended course of study was 200, but because most students scored more than the cutoff, the school increased the cutoff to 265. Imagine, only one mark made me stay an extra one year of which if I knew someone, I would have gained that admission.

I had to re-write another jamb, this time around, the zeal was not there plus the massive failure in 2013, I scored 189. A friend told me about Yabatech’s part-time program, I just had to apply.

Please fellow students, I’m not trying to confuse you but to convince you that mere writing of JAMB does not guarantee your admission, you equally need the backup tool which could be money, the brains, the connection and the grace. Don’t wait extra one year, pick a part-time form as soon as it is out.

Note: Part-time does not require JAMB, you just need your o’level result (make sure you get at least credit in your required subjects) and some other required documents.

Extracted from NL


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